The pulp is often bitter as well as tart, and exudes a tart, gummy latex when cut open. Some varieties are sweet enough to eat out of hand, others are tarter, others are more bitter.
There will be 2 to 8 small brown seeds inside.
Karanda is the fruit of a shrub that grows 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 metres) tall, with sharp thorns (up to 2 inches / 5 cm) long, and evergreen leaves 1 to 3 inches (2 1/2 to 7 1/2 cm) long. The leaves are dark green on top; lighter green on the undersides. It flowers with pink-tinged white blossoms in clusters of 2 to 12, and doesn’t need a lot of care or tending. It is, however, cold tolerant only down to 25 F (-4 C.)
The shrub may produce fruit throughout the year, though most ripen in late summer / early fall.
Karanda shrubs are grown from seed both as a hedge plant and for their fruit.
The juice is red and will cook up a clear red.
Unripe green ones can be made into a pickle or a chutney.
Karanda last only 4 to 5 days at room temperature before degrading.
Karanda is native to areas in south-east Asia such as Burma, India, Malacca, and Ceylon. It was introduced into the Philippines before 1915, and is naturalized in Java.
It has been grown experimentally in Florida and California since 1918.